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Coin-operated arcade games, especially as they became primarily electronic and sold to an ever-widening audience of vendors and distributors, came with instruction manuals, repair documentation, and schematics. Usually attached inside the machines inside bags, or as part of the manifest documents, these manuals were vital for installation and operation of these expensive pieces of hardware. As these long-lived machines fell out of favor with the first-line locations in arcades, they would be passed from owner to owner, occasionally losing parts but very often losing the manuals, which would be separated from the machines and stored in binders or file cabinets and forgotten.
Over time, owners of arcade games that still had the manuals would scan or photocopy them to provide to other owners that still needed them, with the pace quickening as more and more private individuals bought the machines at fire sales and auctions. This mostly-anonymous army of scanners have built up a very large library of manuals that are now available here.
Functional as operating instructions but also as insightful historical documents, these arcade manuals provide another angle on the care and engineering behind the games that have entertained so many over the decades.
Many of these arcade manuals were scanned by Al Kossow, who is thanked for his dedication to saving this history. Metadata for the entries were typed in by Jason Scott, Kent Conrad, John Fink, Thomas Hahn, Lewis Collard, Rose Auerbach, Jason Callina, Aaron Acephalous, Justin Cameron, Miguel Jacq.